Thursday, March 28, 2013

REVIEW ARTICLE: Featherstone in the 'Journal of Global History'

David Featherstone, 2012, "Black flame: the revolutionary class politics of anarchism and and syndicalism (Counterpower  volume 1), by Lucien van der Walt and Michael Schmidt (Edinburgh and Oakland, CA: AK Press, 2009, Pp. 500 and Anarchism and syndicalism in the colonial and postcolonial world, 1870–1940: the praxis of national liberation, internationalism, and social revolution, by Steven Hirsch and Lucien  van der Walt (Amsterdam: Brill , 2010, pp. lxxiv+434), Journal of Global History,  volume 7 , number 3, pp. 535-538.

Journal of Global History

Featherstone's glowing review is available online here, and variously describes Black Flame as a " a major contribution," with various arguments described as "a very significant and valuable achievement,"  "a significant and creative challenge," and as bound to "stimulate a significant revision of existing understandings of leftist political cultures." Set apart by its global scope, unique in the literature, it presents "powerful challenges to existing accounts of leftist internationalisms," asserts "the importance of diverse forms of political agency and activity constituted through trans-local anarchist organizing," and provides "a major contribution to refiguring understandings of political cultures of the Left."

Featherstone also raises a few issues bearing reflection, primarily centred around the issue of overlaps between anarchism and other political traditions (for instance, in the IWW and in Irish syndicalism), and how anarchism spread globally, articulating with diverse traditions as it did so (for instance, in the 1920s-1930s  Sandinista movement in Nicaragua).

These are valuable points, to which we can only respond: thanks!

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